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Greenpeace reactive statement on chlorinated chicken decision

28 May 2008
by eub2 -- last modified 28 May 2008

Today's decision by the European Commission to open the EU market to chlorine-treated chicken from the United States (US) and to bring EU food hygiene rules into line with lower US standards sets a dangerous precedent for the health of EU citizens.


The Commission has buckled under US pressure and surrendered the EU's high standards on food hygiene, environment and consumer protection. The Commission is using the undemocratic comitology procedure to avoid involving the European Parliament and having a public debate on the issue. Under this procedure, the Commission proposal will be dropped only if a qualified majority of member states oppose it. The same procedure is consistently used by the Commission to approve GMOs.

"The Barroso Commission cares more about its relations with the US administration than about its own citizens," said Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss. "This decision undermines the EU's right to set its own hygiene and food safety standards."

"We are concerned that the next step will be for the Commission to cave in on the EU's zero tolerance policy on the contamination of food and feed imports with unauthorised GMOs. Today's decision is a bad start for newly- appointed health Commissioner Vassiliou, who has given in to pressure by Commissioners Verheugen and Mandelson."

Greenpeace European Unit is based in Brussels, where we monitor and analyse the work of the institutions of the European Union (EU), expose deficient EU policies and laws, and challenge decision-makers to implement progressive solutions.

Greenpeace European Unit